I had a conversation with one of my English students the other day. He is a Buddhist monk and we were talking about the school my wife and I are soon to open. I told him that the school was being built in part to help the poor. He said that I was a good man. And I said: “Well…” (and the words of Jesus came to my mind: “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God”). That led into a conversation about living without sin as a Christian compared to a Buddhist. I explained that as Christians we trust in Christ to remove our sin, not our good works.
We do not live good lives to remove sin, we live good lives because sin has been, and is being, removed by the person and work of Christ.
A good way to put it is this: You are not saved by your works, but you will be judged by them, because your works show what is the true condition of your heart.
If you abide in Christ you will live as God wills. We call this fruit. If you do not abide in Christ you will not live according to God’s will. There is no way to fake this. No amount of good works will be a good enough disguise.
“Friend,” he asked, “how did you get in here without wedding clothes?”
Here’s a good video which talks about this…
The power for growth in not wasting your life comes from having Jesus, the one, true unwasted life.
In this video: John Piper, Bob Glenn
Our National Conference this September is on the gospel and sanctification: dsr.gd/HGvx0z